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Thread: Composers Who Never Wrote Operas

          
   
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    Composers Who Never Wrote Operas

    How many famous or not so famous composers can you name who never wrote any operas ? Here are some : J.S. Bach , Chopin,
    Bruckner, Mahler (he completed an unfinished opera by Weber and there are a couple of abortive opera projects from his youth), Anton Webern , Edgard Varese , Alexander Glazunov, Charles Ives , Aram Khatchaturian ,
    Josef Suk, Nikolai Myaskovsky , Edvard Grieg (there are fragments of an opera on Norwegian history by him) ,
    Sir Edward Elgar( there are sketches for an opera called "The Spanish Lady"), Walter Piston , Erik Satie .

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Brahms immediately comes to mind.

  3. #3
    Schigolch
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    Scriabin.

    In fact, he wrote very little vocal music:


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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    John Cage, depending if you would consider his esoteric mumbo-jumbo bull as opera or not. He wrote a series of pieces called Europera (followed by Roman numerals to denote the series).

    Note the scoring: two singers, piano, victrola, television, radio, truckera (i.e. tape), light and director.

    Opera or a 4'33" gimmick?


  5. #5
    Schigolch
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    Those pieces are a kind of musical manifesto. They are pushing the limits of the concept of Opera, but like quite a few other avant-garde composers have been doing since the end of WWII.

    To many of them, including Cage, Opera was a dead art form, in terms of new compositions. So they were concentrating on proving that by writing 'anti-operas' (famously, Ligeti used to say that his own Le Grand Macabre was an 'anti-anti-opera'), in fact the original commission was for Cage to write an "irreversible negation of the Opera as such".

    We are now very well aware that Opera is alive and kicking, and can judge those projects on their artistic merit only. In the case of Europera my opinion is that this merit is, frankly, rather small.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Almost the entire Bach clan did not. Obviously JS but also most of his sons; namely, WF, CPE, JCF. Exception of course was Johann Christian Bach, and friend of the Mozarts.

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    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    Almost the entire Bach clan did not. Obviously JS but also most of his sons; namely, WF, CPE, JCF. Exception of course was Johann Christian Bach, and friend of the Mozarts.
    And what about PDQ?

  8. #8
    Schigolch
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    It seems now almost certain that Pierre Boulez will never write an opera, either. "Le visage nuptial", based on a poem by René Char, was composed in 1946 for voice, two Ondes Martenot, piano and percussion. It was revised several times.

    [Link to video deleted by Admin - video no longer available]
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 11th, 2018 at 07:03 PM.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Felix Mendelssohn wrote a few operas but none of them really made it big.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Mahler writes such beautiful vocal music, I wish he had written an opera.
    Natalie

  11. Likes Florestan, Ann Lander (sospiro) liked this post

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